Our unconventional friends got us a tree for our wedding. Big sac of roots and all. A baby tree, still it was hugely impractical and hellish for Karen’s Mom to get from the banquet hall to our house. Still we loved them, loved each other, loved our new back yard, and we planted it. We don’t live there anymore.
Went by there the other day, just driving by, then I parked. Knocked on the door. No one home.
What was I hoping to find? Traces of our more innocent, happy days? Just how much a new family alters a place, how much the place stays the same? Some patch of carpet or paneling from those different days? A “For Sale” sign?
Walked around back. Now I was an intruder, a burglar, a creep. The lawn had gone to shit. Did that make me feel better about myself, that these new owners couldn’t handle the up-keep? No, it was depressing, as any poorly tended lawn is depressing. So what if thick watered manicured turf is unnatural? Nature, with its wild seeds and brown patches, its entropy, is depressing.
Yet the tree is still alive! And huge! How did it get so big?
And the K, where I started carving Karen’s name and then thought better of it, it’s opened into a great gnarled mouth of exploded tree bark.
I walk up to it, put my hand in the wound. I feel the wet sap inside. I push and it parts for me, letting me probe its inner bark and the wet wood within. I push my full arm inside. Does it have some disease? It feels so healthy! I pull it wider and look inside.
Head, arms shoulders, I shimmy into the body of it’s trunk, dark and wet, enclosed. I feel the xylem and phloem transporting the water around me. My scalp tingles with vibrations from the branches above; I feel the wind in my hair. I feel her love again, and I drink in the sun with my leaves.
This was the program from the Saturday, April 21st show at Otto's Shrunken Head.
Here' s a video of us playing there!